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Bradford Pride festival draws thousands into city centre
Dorothy, the Tin Man and co were out in force for this year’s Wizard of Oz-themed Bradford Pride festival.
Revellers were given the chance to mark the iconic film’s 75th anniversary for the celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights.
Bradford’s Centenary Square was a sea of rainbow flags for a fun-filled afternoon of live acts as between 5,000 and 10,000 people attended the free event.
Musical entertainment was headlined by 1990s chart-topper Kavana, with support from cabaret act Bosom Buddies, who reached the semi-finals of last year’s Britain’s Got Talent.
They were joined on the bill by Bears Aloud alongside R&B artist Jes Stretton and Pink and Jessie J tribute acts, Miss Understood and Jessie Jade.
The event, now in its ninth year, attracted all ages with many deciding to opt for fancy dress.
Proceedings kicked off with ‘Bradford’s own drag goddess’ Mysti Valentine, who introduced 17 acts, including singers, drag acts and Marigold Addams as Dorothy Gale.
One of the highlights of the festivities saw the mirror pool in City Park temporarily transformed into the yellow brick road for a colourful costume parade.
A variety of stalls from a wide range of charities, including youth homeless group Bradford Nightspot, were also on hand.
Pride’s youth tent featured a host of activities including vinyl graffiti, henna art, break dancing and circus skills. Shipley-based Q20 Theatre held workshops throughout the day too.
People who attended were full of praise for Pride and enjoyed its fun atmosphere. Ben Drake, 23, of Denholme, said: “I feel safe at this event. I feel confident and it makes me proud to be who I am.”
Kym Heaps, of Ebony View, Keighley, said: “There’s a really good atmosphere here. Everyone is friendly and there’s no trouble.”
Kate Ainsworth, of Little Germany, who married Sally Adams to become Bradford’s first transgender civil partnership in February this year, said: “The event seems to be getting bigger. I come to this every year. There’s a good mixture of people here. That’s how it should be in Bradford.”
Richard Scullion, publicity and media officer for Bradford Pride, said: “We’re expecting between five to 10,000 people here throughout the day.Bradford Pride seems to be getting bigger every year. But we want to make improvements each year. It’s a community-based event for all ages, bringing people together.”